Special Issue "Governing Forest Landscapes: Challenges and Ways Forward"
A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2014).
Interests: land and forest governance; landscape and agrarian change; rural development
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Interests: political economy; global commodity markets; customary property regimes
Interests: multi-level governance of land and forests; environmental history; decentralization and globalization of NTFPs
Forest governance is concerned with the management and regulation of a complex interplay of social, political, and economic issues that shape the ways in which societies, and specific societal groups, use, allocate and distribute land and forest resources so as to harness forests’ potential to provide important goods and ecosystem services. The discussion on forest governance has expanded gradually over time to embrace both different disciplinary perspectives and multiple scales reflecting the growing complexity of the institutional architecture associated with governing access to, and use of land and forests.
At the local level, research on forest governance concerns the analysis of the socio-institutional and economic factors that shape how land and forests are used by different economic actors, such as, for example, smallholders, forest-dependent communities, and agribusiness. At the sub-national level, the focus lies on the political-economic context and institutional arrangements that affect land use change and forest conversion dynamics, as part of broader processes of agrarian change and landscape transformation. At the national level, the primary emphasis is on the policy and legal frameworks that influence market dynamics and broader social behavior in relation to forest conservation or economic land development. Finally, at the global level, the influence of international trade and finance regimes and markets in driving large-scale investments has become an important new area of inquiry. This relates particularly to the potentials, and limitations of emerging market-driven mechanisms such as corporate accountabilities (e.g. standards and certification systems) and socio-economic partnerships (e.g. fair trade) to enhance the sustainability of global commodity supply chains, as well as the likely growing influence of multilateral agreements. Increasingly, researchers are attempting to bridge these different scales by evaluating how processes and practices at one scale influence other levels of governance.
The analytical lenses through which interactions between the different dimensions and scales shaping land and forest governance, their social and ecological impacts, and potential ways to manage the trade-offs are diverse. There is growing recognition of the need to adopt more integrated approaches in exploring the interactions between different economic sectors, actors, and institutions across scales. Three dominant perspectives appear to be emerging. The first relates to the resurgence of landscape approaches as a way to understand the socio-economic and politico-environmental interactions that shape natural resource management in specific places. The second stresses the importance of assessing the potential for improving sustainability and governance of commodity supply chains in tropical forests and agricultural landscapes. The third highlights the importance of the private sector, where large investments in specific commodities such as palm oil and soy are occurring, in adopting sustainability initiatives, as a key element in fostering a transition towards more sustainable investment and production. The importance of linking these three perspectives is becoming increasingly evident, from both theoretical and policy angles, as a means to developing more innovative multi-level governance arrangements.
This special issue privileges papers that, from different theoretical and disciplinary perspectives, and across multiple scales, look at the issues of policy approaches, sustainable commodity supply chains, and corporate sustainability initiatives, in order to identify the key legal, regulatory and institutional challenges associated with equitable and sustainable forest landscape governance and ways forward.
Dr. Pablo Pacheco
Dr. George Schoneveld
Dr. Andrew Wardell
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- forests governance
- multi-level governance
- sustainable landscapes
- corporate sustainability